How Many Pre Approvals Should I Get Before It Impacts My Credit Score

How Many Pre-Approvals Should I Get Before It Impacts My Credit Score?

When you’re in the market for a new loan or credit card, it’s common to receive multiple pre-approval offers from various lenders. While these pre-approvals can be helpful in finding the best terms and rates, many borrowers are concerned about the impact it may have on their credit score. In this article, we will discuss how many pre-approvals you should get before it starts to impact your credit score and address some frequently asked questions on the topic.

Understanding Pre-Approvals and Credit Scores

Before delving into the number of pre-approvals you should seek, it’s essential to understand how pre-approvals and credit scores are related. A pre-approval is a lender’s initial offer based on a cursory review of your credit history and financial profile. It gives you an idea of the loan amount you may qualify for and the interest rate you could receive.

When lenders issue pre-approval offers, they typically perform a soft credit inquiry. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score. However, when you decide to move forward with a particular lender and formally apply for credit, they will conduct a hard credit inquiry. Hard inquiries are recorded on your credit report and may have a minor impact on your credit score.

The Impact of Multiple Pre-Approvals

Having multiple pre-approval offers can be beneficial as it allows you to compare loan terms and choose the best option. However, each time you accept a pre-approval offer and proceed with a formal application, a hard inquiry is initiated, which can slightly lower your credit score.

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The impact of a single hard inquiry on your credit score is generally minimal, typically ranging from 5 to 10 points. However, if you apply for multiple loans or credit cards within a short period, these inquiries can add up and have a more significant impact on your credit score.

Finding the Right Balance

So, how many pre-approvals should you get before it starts to impact your credit score? Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer as it depends on various factors, including your current credit score, the number of existing inquiries on your credit report, and your overall credit history.

As a general guideline, it is advisable to limit your formal applications to no more than three or four within a six-month period. Applying for too many credit products within a short timeframe can signal financial distress to lenders and may negatively impact your creditworthiness. Therefore, it’s important to strike a balance between exploring your options and maintaining a healthy credit profile.


1. Will checking my own credit score impact my credit score?

No, checking your own credit score, whether through a credit monitoring service or directly with the credit bureaus, does not affect your credit score. This is considered a soft inquiry and has no impact on your creditworthiness.

2. How long do hard inquiries stay on my credit report?

Hard inquiries typically stay on your credit report for about two years. However, their impact on your credit score diminishes over time. After a few months, their effect becomes minimal, and after one year, they no longer affect your credit score.

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3. Can I improve my credit score after multiple hard inquiries?

Yes, your credit score can recover after multiple hard inquiries. By making timely payments, reducing your credit utilization, and maintaining a positive payment history, you can improve your credit score over time.

4. Should I accept every pre-approval offer I receive?

No, it’s not necessary to accept every pre-approval offer you receive. Carefully evaluate the terms and conditions, interest rates, and fees associated with each offer before making a decision. Accepting multiple offers may result in excessive debt and unnecessary credit inquiries.

In conclusion, while pre-approvals can be a useful tool in finding the best loan or credit card, it’s important to be mindful of their impact on your credit score. Limiting your formal applications to a reasonable number and spacing them out over time can help minimize any negative impact on your creditworthiness. Remember to always review the terms and conditions of each offer before making a decision to ensure you’re making the best choice for your financial situation.